===== i may have to differ from you in several respects.
1) people buy whatever they are brainwashed into buying.
it could be cell phones, torn jeans, or even knives.
look at all the threads on these forums and you will
see listed wusthof, henkels, sabatier (only the carbon
one!), global, and maybe kai shun knives for 95% of
the time. one poster claimed outright that the old carbon
sabatier knives were the best in the world, and when i
asked what about aritsuga, masahiro, hattori, glestain,
ittosai, suisun, or sugimoto (all companies that make
exquisite knives costing OVER $4,000!!!) he admitted
NEVER having ever used any japanese knife!! so what
value is his opinion about sabatier being the best knife
in the world??? if all you ever hear that wusthof is the
best, you will start to believe that wusthof is the best.
i am a close friend with someone who USED to distribute
wusthof knives and even HE will tell you they are good,
but NOT the best knives!! his favorites were MACs!
2) sorry to say, LOTS of wusthofs, henkels, sabatiers, etc.
are NOT straight! and for a lot of cutting it may not matter,
but i bet most of the knives you own aren't straight either!!
i know ... when i buy a knife for myself, i go through the
merchant's entire stack of backstock to buy the straightest
one, and if none are straight enough, i wait for the next shipment.
once i went through a merchant's stack of 18 eight inch chef
knives (wusthof!!) and ALL were noticeably bent, twisted,
doglegged or otherwise not straight!! apparently, straightness
is not high priority for wusthof. try making long straight slices
with a crooked knife and you'll see my complaint.
3) wal-mart knives are not very sharp. but neither are wusthof
or henkels out of the box. you are brainwashed into thinking
they are "razor sharp" but compare the edge to a real
safety razor blade (the kind you get at the hardware store
for 25 for $4.99) and you tell me if they are razor sharp or not.
compare the wusthof to the kai shun and tell me who is closer
to being razor sharp. then again, if you never sharpen your
wusthof or henkels you may as well be using a wal-mart knife.
it may sound simple for a knife to be comfortable, straight and sharp
(and all knives need to be sharpened at some point of their lives), but
the knife that fulfills these requirements ..... you don't need to hear
anyone approving of your choice.